HEADLINE SPONSORS: The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) was established in 1784 to promote the trade, agriculture, poetry, language and music of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Today, it is principally known for its flagship event the Royal Highland Show, Scotland’s leading outdoor event showcasing farming, food and rural life, but its activities cover much more. In addition to recognising skills, achievement, innovation and excellence through a series of awards and grants, the Society has a strong educational role in promoting all aspects of rural life in Scotland including agriculture, horticulture and forestry. The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) fulfils this role through links with Scottish schools. RHET, core-funded by RHASS, is a key player in the delivery of the Curriculum for Excellence. The Society also operates the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston, Scotland’s largest indoor and outdoor event venue with over 200 events staged annually, attracting more than one million visitors. The Society is currently working on a master plan for the enhancement of the centre. Through these activities and more, the Society generates in excess of £250million per year for the Scottish economy.

Chiene + Tait

Chiene + Tait Chartered Accountants was established over 125 years ago in Edinburgh. The firm is proud of its Scottish heritage and has grown over the last decade to become one of the leading UK independent providers of business and accounting advice. The specialist team supports rural businesses and estates to develop opportunities for growth and, when the time comes, successfully hands over to the next generation. Chiene + Tait is pleased to support the Scottish Rural Awards, which celebrate the industry, innovation, dedication and aspirations of those who live and work in rural areas. Rory Kennedy, Chiene + Tait Partner, comments, ‘The Scottish Rural Awards are a benchmark of excellence. We are delighted to sponsor the Rural Hero Award and look forward to working together with Scottish Field and the Scottish Countryside Alliance to promote the work of innovative rural businesses.’

CHARITY PARTNER: The National Rural Mental Health Forum

The National Rural Mental Health Forum is a unique, innovative, shining example of communities and organisations across rural Scotland collaborating to tackle one of the leading challenges of our time, the mental health and wellbeing of those living in rural Scotland. The Scottish Rural Awards are a celebration of such unique initiatives such as the National Rural Mental Health Forum.

The National Rural Mental Health Forum was set up to tackle mental health and wellbeing in rural parts of Scotland. It is a unique partnership of over 110 organisations from the private, public and third sectors which focusses on furthering research, informing policy, reduces stigma through various forms of media and events, encourages mental health first aid training and builds resilience in remote and rural communities.

The National Rural Mental Health Forum was set up and is run by the mental health charity Support in Mind Scotland, who have 50 years’ experience in mental health, run services from Golspie to Stranraer and employ 110 people to support up to 1,500 individuals every week in Scotland, 80% of whom are in our rural areas. For more information see www.ruralwellbeing.org